A Darren Oliver For Dystopian Times

MLB: New York Mets at Miami Marlins
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The picture that leads this blog post is of Robinson Cano, and richly deserved. His two home runs (including a massive shot in the 6th to put it away), along with Pete Alonso’s two home runs were the big shots in the Mets’ 11-4 victory over the Marlins in Miami.

Not pictured from tonight’s game, however, is Chasen Shreve, who was the winning pitcher who was dominant in his 2 and 1/3 innings of work. You see, Robert Gsellman is being stretched out as a starter. But stretched is a relative term. Yes, he went from 33 pitches against the Nationals to 47 tonight against the Marlins. But the problem is that he went from two innings to an inning and 2/3’s which, if that qualifies as stretched, then Gsellman must be a Charleston Chew bar after being put in the freezer for a day.

Shreve, however, was dominant in his 2 and 1/3’s innings, striking out five batters without giving up a hit. This was at a point in the game where both starters were pulled and the game had the potential to be a 12-11 loss where Brodie makes a special trip to Bob’s Furniture just to throw a different variety of chairs because the chairs in his palatial estate bore him. But Shreve settled things down and by the time he left the game, the Mets had a comfortable 5-1 lead after Cano’s first homer (pictured above, unlike Shreve who I had to grab a photo from the Washington game because somebody decided he wasn’t picture worthy tonight.)

A Darren Oliver For Dystopian Times
Aug 12, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Chasen Shreve (47) delivers a pitch during the bottom of the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe the Mets are trying to stretch out the wrong guy. I’ve held the belief for a while now that with the Mets’ rotation in shambles at best, that it’s time for them to think about an opener. Ryan Yarbrough has made a nice living as the Rays’ post opener long man in 2018 and 2019, going 27-12 with a 4.02 ERA in 66 games, 46 of those in relief with most if not all of those being games in which he entered in the 2nd or 3rd inning after the likes of Ryne Stanek opened for them.

What if you can extend Shreve just a little bit, maybe to be a four inning pitcher, after the Mets throw out an opener? You could still have it be Gsellman if you want. Maybe without the pressure of having to go five innings, he bears down and gives you a quality one or two. If not, you could go to Jared Hughes or Drew Smith or even Brad Brach as your opener. If the opener goes two clean innings, then Shreve can go four and pitch to the heart of the order once, same if the opener goes one shaky inning. Either way, if you can squeeze six innings out of that combination before handing it to the rest of your bullpen, that wouldn’t be a bad strategy once every five games. Depending on pitch count, maybe Shreve makes one appearance in between his “regular rotation”.

Perhaps Shreve becomes this team’s Darren Oliver, with Franklin Kilome (who threw three innings in mop-up duty tonight with a slight limp to the finish) becoming the new Elmer Dessens as a couple of long men to get the team through one out of every five. It’s not the worst idea in the world. Think about it: We now live in a world where because of COVID-19, Pete Alonso hits a big home run in the fifth and instead of the roar of a Mets heavy crowd,we hear the remnants of a thunderstorm from New York, Keith Hernandez is passing M&M’s to Gary Cohen through a makeshift clothesline, and Steve Gelbs is in a bunker in Manhattan reporting on runaway emus and naked bicycle rides in Philadelphia with a Mr. Met OTS like he was Dweezil Zappa from The Running Man reporting for the resistance.

A Darren Oliver For Dystopian Times
(SNY/The Resistance)

We’re already in Dystopia. The alternate path that we would travel through caused by stretching out Chasen Shreve can’t be much worse than this.

Today’s Hate List

  1. Naked bicycle riders in Philadelphia, PA
  2. Naked emus in Paterson, NJ
  3. Naked hikers in Prescott, AZ
  4. Naked men chasing wild boars in Germany
  5. Matt Joyce
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